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Bell's Weekly Messenger

London Ancestor

(No.1828, Sunday, April 10, 1831)

Breech of Promise of Marriage


The plaintiff, it appeared, was the daughter of a mariner, and the defendant a veterinary surgeon at Thorpe. The plaintiff in 1829 was living in the service of a Mrs. Wilson at Thorpe, when the defendant came to reside next door. Having noticed the plaintiff as a modest and industrious young girl, he asked a friend, Mr. Aublion, a colt-breaker, whether he thought she would make him a good wife. Aublion strongly recommended her, saying he could warrant her. The parties then became acquainted. Shortly after the commencement of the courtship, the defendant made an offer, which she could not then accept, stating that she had no money, a reason which he made very light of; professing that he loved her for her person only. The acquaintance was still kept up. In March, 1829, the plaintiff returned home, and in the course of a few months she became a mother. Her father, in the February following, had an interview with the defendant in consequence of a letter received from him, when he said he should have married the girl months and months before, if the Thorpians had not persuaded him to the contrary. In the beginning of March, l830, he went to see the plaintiff, and repeated his promise, and wished her to fix the day for the wedding, and to postpone the christening of the child for a few days, when he would come again. To this she consented. This was after an action had been commenced. At the time fixed for his meeting her again, he sent a letter desiring her to write to Mr. Sperling. her solicitor, to stop all proceedings as he intended to fulfil his promise. This occurred just previous to the last Lent assizes. The defendant afterwards said he had altered his mind, and refused to fulfil his premise.

Mr. Serjeant Andrews addressed the jury in mitigation of damages, and pleaded the extreme youth of both the parties, the plaintiff being only 21, and the defendant only about 22.

The jury returned a verdict for the plaintiff—Damages, 300l.